By Brenda Erdahl Sports Editor
Despite the loss of some key players including All State pitcher Hunter Malachek, the Maple Lake High School baseball team returns 13 players from last season’s squad that finished third in the state tournament.
“Experience will be one of our biggest strengths this year,” coach Brooks Marquardt said.
Among those 13 returning are seven seniors. They include: Grant Mergen (P/1B) a three-year starter for the Irish who is a solid left-handed pitcher with good velocity. He is also very consistent offensively with a good average and a good on-base percentage.
Cole Trager (SS/P) is a twoyear starter with all the “intangibles:” 6-foot 4-inches tall, strong arm, good speed, and an excellent leader. “We’ll be looking for Cole to breakout offensively this year,” Marquardt said.
Dawson McAlpine (OF) is “never too high or too low. He shows up to the park being the same person day in and day out,” his coach said. He is also a solid left-hand hitter that is tough to strikeout.
Nate Hogan (3B/1B/P) is a “big kid” with a strong arm who can generate a lot of power offensively; Adam Holmgren (OF) has a reputation as a “great team player” who works hard and can play any outfield position; Tyler Weimer (3B/2B) is another great athlete who can play many positions in the field, his coach said.
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